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Frequently Asked Questions

Why did you create MyAvantGarden?


As professional landscape designers and native plant experts we are contacted by many people who are interested in converting their water-thirsty front yards into beautiful, low-water California native gardens.  Many are on a tight budget and want to do the conversion themselves.   They want it to look beautiful and not like a 'tossed salad'.  The challenge for them is the time it takes to research, design and plan all the components necessary to do the project right. 


The question was raised, “Is there a “one-stop-shop” solution that gives homeowners a front yard that is on the cutting edge of garden design in California and that they can install using the resources they have?” 


My AvantGarden is not only a pre-planned garden, it’s a lifestyle and a philosophy.  It’s based on the watershed approach applied to residential landscapes.   Take a look at our Pinterest page to see if MyAvantGarden is right for you.

What is MyAvantGarden?


MyAvantGarden was specifically designed for do-it-yourself gardeners interested in removing their front yard  lawn and replacing it with an affordable pre-designed California native garden. MyAvantGarden kits provide a beautifully designed planting plan with a hand picked selection of native plants that grow best in our region.  (We offer turf removal and installation service on an 'a la carte' basis, too!  See the Purchase page for more information.)  


In addition, you will receive installation instructions and on-line or in-person support.  You can customize the design yourself to fit the unique shape of your front yard by working from the basic MyAvantGarden plan.  We’ve done all the research and provide you with our expert knowledge on plants, installation and garden design, tailored to our Southern California region.  We’re here to help!  We want to help you create a beautiful sustainable garden to enjoy for many years to come.

What if I don't have a lawn but want an AvantGarden?


MyAvantGarden can help!  Our conversion kits transform any landscape into a native garden as long as the size is under 1100 square feet and is basically a rectangle currently occupied by plants, dirt or mulch, not large hardscape areas like patios or pools.  Entry paths and driveways are fine.

What is included in the MyAvantGarden DIY kit?


The kit is designed to be an ‘off the shelf’ solution to help homeowners create beautiful native gardens in small front yards.   You will receive a scaled plan, installation instructions, plants and on-line or in-person support (at Tree of Life Nursery). 

What if I want to have someone install the kit for me?


Installation services are available in Southern Orange County only.  For more information please call or email us at or take a look at our purchase page for pricing by kit.

Turf removal pricing:  $1.50/sq ft for 499 sq. ft and below, $1/sq ft for 500 sq. ft. and bigger

What if we want to make changes or customize our AvantGarden?


The drawing you receive will be to scale and will include plant spacing so you can use it as a template to customize it yourself.  If you want to add or subtract a few plants to those listed in the plan, just let us know.    For more information on customization contact

Note:  One hour of designer modifications are included with all MyAvantGarden plans.  Our garden designs are pre-planned, so we don't perform major modifications or fully customized garden design plans.

How do I get the turf removal rebate to help pay for my lawn conversion?


All rebates are done directly through your local water agency.  MyAvantGarden does not process applications or approve rebates.  We recommend you first read your water agency terms & conditions to make sure you qualify for the turf removal rebate program. 


Please check directly with your local water agency for the most up-to-date rebate information and installation time frame.  

What should I do to prepare my yard for my DIY conversion? 


All the information you will need to prepare your yard will be included in the plan you will receive.


Your plan will explain lawn removal techniques, soil amendment, information on building a swale or rain garden, how to mulch and the best way to water your new garden.  If you don't plan to remove your lawn, amend your soil and plant within a week, then wait until you are ready to plant before picking up your plants or having them delivered.

I have questions about the plants I received?


For any questions that you have about delivery or the native plants you received,  please contact Tree of Life Nursery directly at 949-728-0685.

What if the shape of my yard isn't exactly like the MyAvantGarden plan?


As long as your front yard area is between 200 to 1100 sq. ft. and roughly rectangular in shape we can modify the plan to fit.  For more information, please send an email with address and photos to   

I've paid for my conversion kit, what happens next?


You will first receive confirmation of your order within 24 hours.  Then we'll send your the instruction page as a pdf to guide you in preparing your site, planting and maintaining your garden.  Once you are ready to plant  you can schedule delivery or pickup with  Tree of Life Nursery

If your plan requires modification or some customization, we will give you a call to discuss the changes and then modify accordingly.


You will have two options: home delivery (additional fees apply) or you can pick up your kit at the Tree of Life Nursery located at 33201 Ortega Highway, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675.

What resources will help me learn about native plants?


Please see the links on our Resource page .


When I click on "buy now", why am I being taken to a different website?


All conversion kits are purchased directly through the Tree of Life Nursery Paypal website.  For any question regarding the order, please contact them directly.

What are the terms and conditions for the My Avant Garden Service?


Please click  here  to view our terms and conditions. 

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